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Reconstruction of Matthäus Schwarz's slashed costume

based on illustration no. 102 in his Trachtenbuch, London, 2012

White linen shirt, red silk satin and yellow silk damask paned doublet, yellow deerskin hose with red silk taffeta interlining, black sheep’s wool knitted cap, black leather horn-toed shoes, black silk velvet sword girdle and red silk velvet bag.

There is no better guide to the Renaissance fascination with dress and self-conscious display than Matthäus Schwarz of Augsburg. Born in 1497, Schwarz worked as chief accountant for the Fugger family. Aged 23, he started his ‘little book of clothes’. For the next 40 years, he commissioned innovative clothes and had these recorded in illuminated sheets. In 1560, Schwarz had 137 of these images bound.

This hand-made reconstruction by Jenny Tiramani, Director of the School of Historical Dress, London, is the outcome of a collaboration with Cambridge historian Ulinka Rublack. It is an interpretation of the outfit Schwarz wore at the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530. It shows the height of joyful Renaissance power-dressing. You can learn more about the making and wearing of this costume from the video on show nearby.

Lent by Jenny Tiramani, The School of Historical Dress, London, and Ulinka Rublack, University of Cambridge.

Image: Photographer - Jenny Tiramani, Model - Jack Brotchie

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